WOMAN-WATERING-PLANTGrowing the plants in a pot or any other container or growing the plants in a terrace or Balcony is an old practice that dates back to many thousands of years. A stone bas-relief in the palace of Queen Hatshepsut  depicts a row of Boswwellias growing in pots.  Queen Sheeba sent a rare gum tree  from which a  rare fragrant resin is obtained as a gift to king Solomon.

Chandragupta I imported exotic and rare flowering trees for his palace gardens.

What is common to all the above historical events?

All the plants were grown in Pots and brought  from their place of birth to a new environ, to their adopted places .  After entering in to their new homes, the potted plants happily settled . This throws light on two important factors pertaining to the art of Gardening.

Though the plant travelled for many days, could withstand the rigors of traveling. It shows the art of growing the plants in pots existed for more than 3500 years. It also says that the Gardening quintessence of the people of yore was far advanced.

What could stand as a better glowing tribute to the Gardening skills of Babylonians , who gave the world “The Hanging Gardens Of Babylon , one of the seven wonders of the ancient  world?. King  Nebuchadnezzar had trees growing in large containers. 

In this respect Rome was not far behind. Historical evidence shows growing the plants in Pots existed in Rome as early as 2000 years ago.  Chinese were growing indoor gardens entirely with potted plants. Plants in the days of yore were grown in the pots not because of lack of space, but because of variety.

But today, the situation is different. The present population explosion, rampant urbanization and the resulting shrinkage in spaces are the main reasons for growing the small gardens, Balcony, Terrace gardens and potted plants.

Important conditions for a successful Potted garden

Growing plants in a container is both thrilling and challenging. You need to know, the factors that subscribe to a flourishing Pot/containergardening.

The Pot that holds the plant has an important part to play in the success or failure of Potted Gardening.

The pot must have a have hole which is also called as drainage to facilitate the free flow of water without stagnating the pot with water. If the water remains there in the pot, the roots will be decayed.

A soil rich in humus .

Humus forms by the decomposition of plants and leaves by soil bacteria. Regular feeding should be ensured In accordance with the nature of the plant and climate. Transplanting the plant when the roots overgrow and the pot becomes too congested for the plant.

A Potted plant should be viewed as a child that cannot speak. It’s you who should keep an eye on the plant’s  necessities like watering and it’s preferences for the position or placement of the plant in the right place. . Like, if your plant loves a shady place, you should see that it’s done according to the plant’s need.

If you are new to the Potted gardening,, there are chances of failures. A few plants may die. But that should not discourage you. Anyhow,  a beginner should go for hardy plants. A hardy plant is a plant that can withstand tough conditions and can survive. Select a pot in tune with the necessity

There are as many varieties of Pots as there are different type of plants. Remember no Pot has 100%  suitability or 100 % unsuitability that cater to the needs of the plant. Hence it has to be seen what type of pot will satisfy maximum number of your’s and the plant’s requirements.  For example if a well fired terracotta satisfies most of  the needs, it may not be that good  when it comes to durability.

Similarly an elegant shaped marble  pot may be good for an aesthetic look, but it can’t be moved easily, when you wish to rearrange the pots for a change in look. All in all, wisdom lies in  striking a balance.

Next task , after selecting the pot is to prepare the Pot.

Preparing  a pot means filling the pot with the soil  before the plant is sown.  The only precaution to be taken during preparing the pot irreapective of the make, is to cover the drainage hole with crocks. Now after sowing the seed or seedling in the pot, you prepared, hang or place the pot in a pre-determined place.

Indoor Plants.

If you live in a house where you don’t have a balcony, your option is invariably Indoor plants. . Fortunately for those who are in such tight conditions there are a host of indoor plants that will grow without posing any problems. In brief there are indoor plants which are not fussy. What all you need to know is, providing those plants their basic requirements food, sunlight, air and water. That’s all, they won’t complain and they will look after their growth.

A word about the selection of the plant.

Select a plant in tune with the conditions at your disposal That means, don’t select an exotic plant which your friend is growing who lives in a villa.  He might be having all the place and conditions congenial for a healthy growth of that plant.  If you go for that plant and if you live in a congested narrow lane where there is no chance for sunshine at all, in no time that may wilt and die. So it all tantamount to one thing. Choose a plant that lives for years and mesmerizes your family and friends.

Here is a list of plants that are not demanding. They won’t expect any pampering from you. That means you be on your job and they will be on theirs.  

Spider Plant.

This plant with the biological name, Chlorophytum comosum Variegatum has  beautiful green and white edged  leaves . It enchants the viewers , if you choose a hanging basket for planting.

Bromeliads

It has a number of species.. Some love Sun, while others are much fascinated with shade. There is yet another kind,  which flower for a long time. So what species you need what species are suitable to your abode are the questions you ask your nursery man before you  start decorating your  indoors with plants. The soil that’s ideal to Bromeliads is a highly porous one.  With the proportion of  Soil and leaf mould as 1:2 is ideal for the species. These species are simpletons. They need very less attention.

Swiss cheese Plant

Swiss cheese plants are very good if they are placed amidst foliage plants.  This is one of the ideal plants for indoor gardening.

Phoenix Palm

These slow growing palms are endowed with elegant and graceful leaves. These plants are ideal for pot gardening.  They like to be kept in bright light in the initial stages.. It doesn’t mean you leave them in the hot afternoon sun. The ideal soil for this plant is a well drained loamy soil.

Dumb Cane

This hardy evergreen hails from tropical America.  The main features of this plant are , their stems are thick and fleshy. Their leaves are formed in clusters. Beware, their sap, if by any chance touches your tongue, it swells and impairs your speech. This trait of the plant earned it the name, “Dumb cane.” Its soil should be moderately rich in organic manure. Shield it from the summer sun and water frequently during summer days. 

Crotons

Crotons hail from a family of colourful evergreens.  Their leaves come in a host of vibrant colors in all the shades of green, yellow, pink, red, white, orange and cream. Though they like bright light, it cannot tolerate direct midday sun.  Water the plant while seeing the soil is not water- logged.

A soil rich in loam is ideal  for these plants.

Image :Drawn by the author 


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